Dear AT&T, I Want Your 3G MicroCell! For Free.: "
Dear AT&T, Yes, it’s me. Again. But today, rather than just bitching about your service, I have a solution for you. In fact, it’s so obvious, and makes so much sense, that I can’t believe you didn’t think of it. So I’m going to help you out.
Today, you announced the nationwide rollout plans for your new 3G MicroCell product. That’s great. It sounds like a great solution for those customers who have poor reception in their home or work environments. I know many of those customers. In fact, just about everyone I know in San Francisco and New York City who has AT&T service is one of the customers. In fact, I’m one of those customers. So yes, I want this device. But seeing as I’ve been paying you about $100-a-month for several years now, I think it’s only fair that you pay for it.
It would be one thing if my service was only poor a few times a year. Hell, maybe I’d even be okay if it were bad a few times a month. But every single day I have some kind of AT&T issue. And many of the aforementioned people I know do too. So rather than making us pay the $150 for this device, why not just send one to every customer living in areas that you yourselves admit has service “below our standards“?
Yes, I know that’s an expensive proposition. But think of what a PR win that would be after months of being dragged through the mud. And is $150 really that much to eat in the long run? Again, we’re paying you nearly that much every single month. And while you may admit that the service isn’t where it should be, I have yet to see a refund check in the mail. Other services, like Netflix, proactively apologize and give refunds when their service fails. You do nothing except promise that things will get better. We’ve been hearing that promise for years now. It hasn’t gotten better.
The only reason I don’t switch carriers is because of the amazing gift you were given: the iPhone. I understand that demand for that device is the reason your network is so terrible. But that’s your problem, not mine.
Following your great performance at SXSW this year (after last year’s disaster), I wondered aloud why you couldn’t do the same thing here that you did there? I understand there are a few reasons (the biggest of which seems to be that it would be more difficult — which to me, seems mainly to mean that it would cost more money), but this seems like a perfect temporary solution. And I’m hardly the only one who thinks so.
So think about it, will you? You have an amazing opportunity to do the right thing here.
Oh, and P.S. I forgot to mention maybe the biggest benefit to you too — because you’re offloading traffic from your large macro-cells to these micro-cells using broadband we already pay for, you’re going to be freeing up a lot of bandwidth, allowing the overall network to improve.
See, it’s a win-win. It just needs to be a free option in the areas where you are currently failing.